For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

APHA Scorecard Tracks How Members of Congress Voted on Public Health Legislation

Washington, D.C., February 4, 2010 – The American Public Health Association today released its annual congressional voting record, which tracks how members of Congress voted on legislation that is important to public health.

APHA’s report was compiled by examining hundreds of individual votes and selecting key public health votes during the first session of the 111th Congress in 2009.

In the Senate, 51 out of 100 senators voted in support of APHA’s position on all seven of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Key Senate votes from 2009 included in this year’s congressional record focused on issues such as children’s health insurance, public health funding, the federal budget resolution, tobacco product regulation, health reform legislation and abortion restrictions.

In the House, 164 out of 435 representatives voted in support of APHA’s position on all nine of the key issues for which their votes were recorded and received a 100 percent rating. Along with the same key issues voted on by the Senate, important House votes from 2009 also focused on climate change, food safety legislation and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program reauthorization.

“Tracking votes is an important way to keep senators and representatives accountable for their legislative decisions that affect the health of the people,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Keeping an eye on congressional leaders also reminds them that APHA and its members are watching to see who places a high priority on improving our nation’s health.”

While the APHA congressional voting record is a useful tool for assessing a member’s support for public health, it is not a comprehensive evaluation of their qualifications for office or their overall level of support for public health. Therefore, APHA reminds its readers not to base their judgment of a member’s performance solely on this report.

The congressional record appears in the February 2010 issue of The Nation’s Health, the official newspaper of APHA. The voting record may be ordered by purchasing a single copy of the February 2010 issue for $6 by phone at 800-633-4931, fax at 205-995-1588 or e-mail at apha@subscriptionoffice.com.

APHA members may access a PDF version of the vote tally from the APHA Web site by using their member password. Members who need more information should call Donald Hoppert at 202-777-2514 or e-mail donald.hoppert@apha.org. Members who have forgotten their member password should e-mail membership.mail@apha.org or call 202-777-2400.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.